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Big third quarter ignites Milton past Holy Redeemer

Written by: on Sunday, September 25th, 2022. Follow Matt Beltz on Twitter.


WILKES-BARRE – Scoring three touchdowns in a quarter while having the ball for under a minute isn’t a usual occurrence. But that’s what Milton did on Saturday night, and that 21-point third quarter opened up what was a close game at halftime and allowed the Black Panthers to run away with a 42-13 win over the Royals in a non-conference game played at Kings College. The win improves the Black Panthers to 4-1 on the season at the halfway point.

The third quarter featured Milton having possession for only a combined :48 seconds, but the Black Panthers still managed to score three times to extend their lead to 35-0 and put the mercy rule into effect.

Holy Redeemer was forced to punt from its own 20 after a pair of penalties and a sack pushed them back from near midfield and the Royals did not convert on a third-and-42 play. Montgomery Fisher took the punt back 45 yards for a touchdown, his second punt return for a score on the season.

Another penalty and back-to-back sacks put the Royals in their second straight third-and-42 situation on their ensuing drive, and while they converted a 44-yard play this time, their drive still stalled and they were forced to punt, giving Milton the ball at its own 32 to start.

Cale Bastian hit Dylan Reiff for a 46-yard reception on the first play of the drive, and one play later, Xzavier Minium took a handoff 22 yards for a touchdown, making it 28-0.

“We really hurt ourselves in the first half with some mistakes and penalties and tripping over the turf, but we responded pretty well in the second half, made some big plays, tried to limit theirs as much as possible, and for the most part contained that,” said Milton coach Phil Davis.

After Holy Redeemer went three-and-out on its next drive, Milton took over at its own 37 this time, and on the first play from scrimmage, Bastian hit Minium for a 63-yard touchdown pass with :30 left in the quarter, making it 35-0 to invoke the mercy rule.

While both teams had a handful of athletes capable of making big plays, Milton largely held Holy Redeemer’s in check for most of the game, sacking the Royals’ duel threat quarterback Jacob Hunter three times, and making eight total plays go for a loss for the Royals. At one point in the third quarter, the Royals had just two rushing yards, and for the game, Holy Redeemer managed just 57 on the ground.

Milton, on the other hand, ran for 251 yards and had eight plays of 20 or more yards, the first of which came on its third play of the game from scrimmage, a 44-yard pickup by Bastian on a keeper. That play flipped field position, and three plays later, Mason Rowe punched it in the end zone from six yards out to put Milton up 7-0 less than three minutes into the game.

The Black Panthers were stopped by down on their next drive after they had stopped the Royals on downs at midfield on Holy Redeemer’s opening drive, but other than the half and the end of the game, that would be the only time Milton’s offense was stopped without a score for the remainder of the game.

Milton chewed up nearly half of the second quarter with an 11-play, 63-yard drive that was capped by Bastian’s nine-yard touchdown to put the Black Panthers up 14-0 at the half.

“I thought our pass coverage was pretty good for the most part with not giving them a lot of opportunities to throw it and we finally got to their quarterback in the second half and made him a little more uncomfortable, which was helpful,” said Milton coach Phil Davis.”

The Royals tacked on a couple of touchdowns passes with the running clock in the fourth quarter, but in between those, Bastian tossed his second touchdown pass of the game, this one to Reiff from 22 yards, to put a cap on his night. He finished with 194 yards on 7-of-9 passing and also led the Black Panthers with 105 rushing yards on the night and a score. Bastian has seized the starting quarterback role for Milton from Minium, who has largely moved to receiver, where his impact was felt on Saturday as well.

“Having Cale under center makes us two-dimensional. We’re not just a run-only team,” said Davis. “Both Cale and Xzavier have the ability to run and throw but the idea of getting Xzavier into space and out in the open where he has to beat just one person is a real positive for us and it really worked tonight, so we’ll try to continue that moving forward.”

Milton 42, Holy Redeemer 13
Milton (4-1)                        7    7   21   7 – 42
Holy Redeemer (2-3)    0    0    0   13 – 13

First quarter
9:39 – (M) Mason Rowe 6-yard run (Witter kick), 6-69, 2:21

Second quarter
5:52 – (M) Cale Bastian 9-yard run (Witter kick), 11-63, 5:24

Third quarter
7:43 – (M) Montgomery Fisher 45-yard punt return (Witter kick)
2:55 – (M) Xzavier Minium 22-yard run (Witter kick), 2-68, :36
:30 – (M) Xzavier Minium 63-yard pass from Cale Bastian (Witter kick), 1-63, :12

Fourth quarter
9:24 – (HR) Zachary Perta 55-yard pass from Jacob Hunter (run failed), 5-84, 3:06
7:19 – (M) Dylan Reiff 22-yard pass from Cale Bastian (Witter kick), 3-62, 2:05
:40 – (HR) Zachary Perta 15-yard pass from Jacob Hunter (Tarnalicki kick), 8-63, 6:39

                                           M                        HR

First downs                        17                          14

Rushes-net yards           25-251                   26-57

Passing yardage               194                        236

Passing                          7-9-2-0                16-28-2-0

Fumbles-lost                     2-0                         1-0

Penalties-yards                6-66                       6-79


RUSHING — Milton: Cale Bastian (8-105-1), Mason Rowe (6-83-1), Xzavier Minium (5-42-1), Montgomery Fisher (4-11), Jaeden Canelo (1-10), Trey Locke (1-0); Holy Redeemer: Jacob Hunter (9-1), Josh Wesneski (7-9), Luke Kopec (5-47), Zachary Perta (3-(-3)), Darryl Wright (1-2), DJ McDermott (1-1)

PASSING — Milton: Cale Bastian (7-9-194-2-0); Holy Redeemer: Jacob Hunter (16-28-236-2-0)

RECEIVING — Milton: Dylan Reiff (4-109-1), Xzavier Minium (2-78-1), Trey Locke (1-7); Holy Redeemer: Zachary Perta (7-176-2), Louis Lussi (5-23), Darryl Wright (2-34), Jake Griffin (1-15),  George Sabbatini (1-(-10))

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